Home Tour: Kitchen + Dining

We were lucky when we moved into this rental that the owner allowed us to pick paint colors before we moved in. The challenge was that I had never stepped foot inside the house before! I picked a bold choice for the kitchen and eating area and I love how it turned out.

I’m enjoying using a gas stove. And the old cabinets have such charm with textured glass panels and clear glass knobs.

I got these white leather barstools for a steal on Amazon.com. Madilyn loves eating here.

This is a graphic I saw on Instagram from People of the Second Chance. I converted it to a vector and had a vinyl stick-on made from it. I’d prefer for it be to hand drawn with a chalk pen, but this will do!

We got a new table & chairs set and chandelier from Ikea. Our old set was a little too big for this area. This set feels like a breath of fresh air.

We love this pic of our dear Madilyn at 3 months old.

Step outside our back door where our dog Macey sits and suns, and this is the site you’re greeted with.

Could it get any better?

Ellenor’s Nursery

Next stop on the home tour … Ellenor’s room! A mix of vintage & modern in blues, greens, mustardy yellows – a calm vibe which so far matches Ellenor’s personality.

A sweet welcome wreath made by my friend Beth:

Shhh! Baby sleeping (a gift from Nana)

If I had known this design would become so popular, I probably wouldn’t have bought it years ago, but when I started to piece together this room, I thought there is no more appropriate place for this saying than over the place we change diapers!

I fell in love with the Walnut Animal Society. I first bought “Eleanor the Bear” because how perfect is that? And now Ellenor also has “Ruthie the Dear” – a perfect patch for the color scheme.

I love these shelves Jeff installed as mini tables. Perfect height for when Ellenor begins exploring her room on foot.

We were given a little wooden block like this created by Craft-E-Family from a friend for Madilyn. I knew Ellenor had to have one too. It has all her birth details.

My dad bought this antique rocking chair for me when I was a baby. Madilyn used it and now it’s in Ellenor’s room, for big sis or little sis to sit and read.

A friend found this adorable bench at a yard sale. I had a custom cushion made for it, and that was the original inspiration for the room. I also used it as a background for Ellenor’s first photography session by Mama.

There is one more touch I wanted to add to the room, but with these 1940s plaster walls, it’s not easy. If I end up installing it, I’ll post a picture 😉

Lego House!

Nana bought Madilyn Olivia’s House with Lego friends for her 5th birthday. She started working on it Monday night after her party, and worked all day Tuesday and Wednesday morning until she was finished (we left Wednesday afternoon). I helped her on two little parts and she did the entire thing by herself! I mean she worked for hours upon hours. There were two big instruction books she worked through, looking at the illustrations. She did everything perfectly, down to the sticker placement. I am in awe of her accomplishment (I don’t know many adults who could have done this!), and as you can see, she’s pretty proud of herself too. What a special girl!

Madilyn’s 5th Birthday Extravaganza Comes to a Close

So in retrospect, it seems I went a bit overboard on celebrating Madilyn’s 5th birthday. I was so worried that with the move and the new baby that she would feel overlooked on her 5th birthday – so I had a party in Florida, then one in TN, but since we couldn’t have it on her birthday we had another celebration the day of! At any rate we are PARTIED OUT. Even Madilyn asked if she could pick where she had her 6th birthday. She wants it at ONE place. Chick-fil-a. With cupcakes (no wrappers) on top of a cake. Done!

I also had my own 5th birthday party in the back of my mind – Mom had invited the entire Kindergarten class and it was pretty epic.

Ok, enough maternal guilt … We’ve had a great time. Madilyn loved celebrating with friends in 3 places and will have fun memories for years to come. Onto the pix!

So the original idea was to have the five girls – Madilyn, cousins Jorah & Emma, friends Addison and Caroline – play at Warriors Path State Park – they have a great playground with a “Narnia” theme. Since there was a funeral the parents would be attending, we had to move the party from late afternoon to the middle of the day. We got there and it was blazing hot, and yellow jackets were swarming the pavilion. My brother Chris went and bought spray, but it didn’t make enough difference to keep the wasps away. Ten minutes into the party Madilyn was white as a sheet and looked like she was going to pass out from the heat. … So we moved the whole party to McDonald’s that had an indoor playground, which turned out great. The girls had fun and we escaped the heat, and then got drenched as a downpour of rain happened as we were getting in the car.

Here they are at the park before the heat nearly consumed us!

Party – take 2!

Madilyn, Emma and Addison

My cousin Shana meeting Ellenor

The cookie cake from Nana

Caroline and Jorah

Opening presents. Addison read her card to Madilyn!

Caroline posing with her party gift – fairy wings!

A fun time! We also enjoyed visiting with Shana, her friend Chelsea, my Aunt Cindy, Addison’s aunt Consuela, Caroline’s mom Heather, mom and Chris.


After we got home Madilyn opened more gifts – from Nana, Uncle Chris and Mammaw!

She got Lego friends, a doll and 2 backpacks for school!

Mammaw and Ellenor

Uncle Dean & Aunt Gloria came over after the funeral (it was for a very sweet lady who is a cousin to Mom and Aunt Gloria) and gave Madilyn a card. When she opened it money started flying everywhere!


Enjoying baby Ellenor

Ellenor’s First Swim

Since moving to Nashville we joined the local Y and love going there most days. We took Ellenor in an adorable bathing suit (a gift from the Hawthornes) for her first “swim.” I sat in the water and held her there about 5 minutes until the inconsiderate kids having fun began splashing too much!! 🙂 We were later blessed to see a beautiful rainbow – Madilyn’s favorite!

Ellenor at 2 Months

Here are Ellenor’s 2 month photos (a bit late!). Ellenor had her 2-mo checkup in Nashville. She’s 90th percentile for weight & height, 50th for head circumference.She weighs 13 lbs & is 24″ long. The quilt in these photos was made by Margo Harbin, a co-worker of Jeff’s in Apopka. She blessed us with handmade quilts for Madilyn & Ellenor – in the perfect colors for their rooms!

Madilyn’s Real 5th Birthday

Madilyn requested I wake her up in the middle of the night when she turned 5. So this is what 2:06 am looks like:


Thankfully she went right back to sleep (me, on the other hand…)

I woke her up again pretty early because we made plans to go to Nashville’s famous Pancake Pantry! But first, a couple of presents from mom & dad.

Jeff drew her a card where she was sliding down a rainbow into a pot of presents. She loved it, then pointed out that I had not drawn her a card 😉


We got to Pancake Pantry just before the line began to form at the door & down the street. Madilyn ordered polka dot pancakes, then we found out she got them again as her birthday treat from the restaurant. Live & learn.



She received texts & phone calls throughout the day from family & friends (& Facebook shout outs). I think she felt very loved & special. In the afternoon she was surprised with a giant balloon bouquet from Aunt Pam, Uncle John & the cousins. She loved it!


The reason we had a Florida birthday party was so Madilyn could see her friends one last time before we left, and spend the last day doing something really fun. So my plan for her actual birthday was to have a party at my Mom’s place with two of her Tennessee cousins and two friends. However several of their parents are out of town for a church conference so we had to schedule it for Monday. So….we ended up planning something last minute here in Nashville!

I thought that we wouldn’t have had time to make new friends to spend her actual birthday with, but I underestimated my Madilyn! She has become fast friends with Jeff’s principal’s daughter, Ella Grace. So we met her & her parents at the mall for dinner & Build-A-Bear fun, then she came back to the house for a sleepover!





Back to the house! Watching Despicable Me & eating popcorn:


Making cupcakes






They painted, ate & played, then knocked off about midnight!